A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Saint Petersburg vs. Beijing for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Saint Petersburg or Beijing?

Should I visit Saint Petersburg or Beijing? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is a beautiful city that sits on the eastern edge of the Baltic Sea. Its historical city center is threaded with canals and architecturally impressive buildings, leaving little doubt as to why this city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the second largest city in Russia, but perhaps a favorite among travelers. The metropolitan area has a population of over 5 million as well as an impressive culture with fascinating museums, restaurants, and architecture. The city has no shortage of sights and attractions, and many days can be passed while you wander its intricate streets.

Beijing

Beijing is the capital of China and, with 21.5 million people, it is the second most populated city in the world after Shanghai. It is a city that keeps pockets of its history hidden in old neighborhoods or back alleys, despite the constant change and modernization that goes on around it. As the capital city of China, there is plenty of history and culture. You can still get yourself lost in one of the last remaining hutongs, which are old neighborhoods that remain untouched by the city's modernization. The alleys that weave between the old homes are lined with drying clothes, corner markets, and people going about their daily lives the way they have for centuries. Surrounding these hutongs you'll find modern buildings and a booming economy, all threatening to destroying these last bits of Beijing's history. Beijing offers a glimpse into a microcosm that represents the entire country of China. Make sure you give yourself enough time in China to truly experience Beijing. You can pass a lot of time soaking up life in the city, which remains as diverse as the country it resides within.

Which city is cheaper, Beijing or Saint Petersburg?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Saint Petersburg is $65, while the average daily cost in Beijing is $69. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Saint Petersburg and Beijing in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $74 in Saint Petersburg For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Beijing is $70. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Saint Petersburg $37
    Beijing $35
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Saint Petersburg $74
    Beijing $70

Food

Food in Saint Petersburg costs travelers about $19 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

In Beijing travelers spend around $19 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Saint Petersburg $19
    Beijing $19
Typical Food prices in Saint Petersburg

For Saint Petersburg, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Lunch for Two
    $5.88

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Saint Petersburg

For Saint Petersburg, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Enjoy Russian Delicacies in St Petersburg: Cooking Demo and Meal with a Local: $80
  • Private Dining: Russian dinner in a traditional St. Petersburg apartment: $91
  • Cooking Class and a Dinner with a Local Family (8 people max): $92
  • Off-the-tourist Path Food Tour: $103
  • Local Market Tour and Cooking Demo with a Homemade Russian Meal in St Petersburg: $107
  • Borscht and cabbage pie cooking class and dinner for small private groups: $109
  • FOOD TOUR. St.Petersburg: $150
  • Private Cooking Class: Learn the secrets of Borsch and Beef Stroganoff: $166
  • Private Cooking Class: Russian Blini with Red Caviar and Shchi soup: $179
  • Private Cooking Class: Russian Shchi soup and Blini with Red Caviar: $187
  • Private Cooking Class: Hands-on Siberian Pelmeni Making Workshop: $188
  • Private Cooking Class: Siberian Pelmeni, Stolichny salad and Borsch: $212

Typical Food prices in Beijing

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Beijing:


  • Popcorn
    $0.93
  • Hot Pot Dinner
    $7.76
  • Dumpling Breakfast for Two
    $3.10
  • Watermelon
    $2.17
  • Peking Duck Dinner for 2
    $18
  • Two Popsicles
    $0.93

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Beijing

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Beijing.

  • Online Cooking Class: $25
  • Path Hutong Food Tour: $30
  • Chengdu Private Food Tour (With Visit to Kuanzhai Alley and Hotpot Experience): $32
  • Kung fu Show and Peking Roasted Duck Dinner: $58
  • Private Temple of Heaven Walking Tour with Peking Duck Dinner or Kung Fu Show: $62
  • Acrobatic Show w/ Peking Duck Dinner Private: $68
  • Beijing Historical Center with Peking Opera and Duck Dinner: $69
  • 3 hours Morning or Afternoon Tea Tasting on Maliandao Street and Tea Restaurant Lunch or Dinner Tour: $69
  • Beijing Hutong Breakfast Food Tour: $69
  • Chengdu Jinsha Site Museum and Sanxingdui Museum Private Day Tour with Hotpot Dinner: $76
  • Dim Sum Cooking Class and Wet Market Visit in Shanghai: $78
  • Old Beijing Dinner Tour: $80

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Saint Petersburg than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $7.43 on transportation in Saint Petersburg on average per day.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $6.87 per day to get around in Beijing.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Saint Petersburg $7.43
    Beijing $6.87
Typical Local Transportation prices in Saint Petersburg

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Saint Petersburg:


  • Metro Passes
    $1.71

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Saint Petersburg

Also for Saint Petersburg, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Departure Private Transfer St Petersburg City to Pulkovo Airport LED - LuxuryCar: $80
  • Departure Private Transfer St Petersburg City to Pulkovo Airport LED - LuxuryVan: $39
  • Departure Private Transfer St. Petersburg to Pulkovo Airport LED by Business Car: $61
  • Private Airport Transfer: from St Petersburg to Pulkovo Airport (LED): $28
  • Private Transfer from Peterhof Palace to St. Petersburg City Center: $36
  • Private Transfer from St. Petersburg City Center to Peterhof Palace: $37
  • St Petersburg Airport Transfers : St Petersburg to Airport LED by Business Car: $63
  • St Petersburg Airport Transfers : St Petersburg to Airport LED in Luxury Car: $103
  • St Petersburg Airport Transfers : St Petersburg to Airport LED in Luxury Van: $89
  • St Petersburg Departure Private Transfers from St Petersburg City to Airport LED: $84
  • St Petersburg Transfer from city hotels or Cruise port to Pulkovo Airport (LED): $68
  • St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport (LED) to hotel - Arrival Private Transfer: $36

Typical Local Transportation prices in Beijing

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Beijing:


  • Taxi
    $5.30
  • Train from Airport for Two
    $7.76
  • Taxi to Hotel
    $9.31
  • 2 Metro Passes
    $2.48
  • Metro
    $0.62

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Beijing

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Beijing:

  • [Up to 20% Off] Private City Transfers for Mutianyu Great Wall in Beijing : $23
  • [Up to 15% Off for Round Trip Transfers] Private Beijing Capital Airport Transfers (PEK) for Beijing : $37
  • Zhoukoudian Peking Man and Marco Polo Bridge Private Transfer from Beijing: $88
  • Yangshuo and Li River Highlights Day Tour with Transfers: $111
  • Ultimate Forbidden City and Mutianyu Great Wall Discovery with Airport Transfer: $186
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Pekin-Beijing City to Airport: $29
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Pekin-Beijing Airport to Pekin-Beijing City: $29
  • Transfer from Beijing hotel downtown to Beijing International Airport: $21
  • Transfer from Beijing Capital (PEK) - Beijing: $50
  • Tradtional Chinese Massage with Transfer in Beijing: $68
  • Tour of Beijing Opera at Liyuan Theater with Transfer: $59
  • Tour Combo Package: 4-Day Beijing with 2-way airport to hotel transfer: $441

Is it cheaper to fly into Saint Petersburg or Beijing?

Prices for flights to both Beijing and Saint Petersburg change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Saint Petersburg, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $18 per day, per person.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $21 per person, per day in Beijing. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Saint Petersburg $18
    Beijing $21

Tours and Activities in Saint Petersburg

For Saint Petersburg, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 2-Day Small-Group Visa-Free Tour - Top Highlights of St Petersburg: $20
  • 1.5-Hours Saint Petersburg's Metro Tour Hidden Treasures: $25
  • Mini-Group 2-Day Shore Excursion of St Petersburg Must-Sees and Boat Cruise: $25
  • Saint Petersburg Drawbridges Tour: $41
  • Half Day Walking Tour Well Courtyards Tour in Saint Petersburg: $44
  • Guided Tour Peter and Paul Fortress, Cathedral and Prison: $56
  • Private Tours: $64
  • Half Day Bike City Tour in Saint Petersburg: $75
  • Private Tour of "Erarta" Galleries: $76
  • St Petersburg Communist walking tour + Museum of Russian political history: $77
  • Evening River and Canal Cruise Visas Included: $86
  • Revolutionary Petersburg City Tour: $86

Typical Entertainment prices in Beijing

Here are a few typical costs in Beijing for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Entry to Summer Palace for Two
    $9.31
  • Two Opera Tickets
    $66
  • Temple of Heaven Park Entrance (for 2)
    $11
  • Forbidden City (for 2)
    $19
  • Forbidden City Tickets
    $19
  • Audio Guides at Forbidden City
    $12

Tours and Activities in Beijing

Here are a few actual costs in Beijing for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Lionsgate Entertainment World Ticket in Henqin Zhuhai : $31
  • 1 Day Beijing Badaling Great Wall with 30-Minute Helicopter Tour: $614
  • 1 Day Beijing No Shopping Tour with Peking Roast Duck: $226
  • 1 Day Mutianyu Great Wall Bus Tour: $29
  • 1 Day Old Beijing City Tour .Forbidden City,Hutong,Temple of Heaven: $163
  • 1 Day Romantic Tour in Oriental Provence Lavender Manor and Mutianyu Great Wall: $208
  • 1 Day Tour : Simatai Great Wall and Gubei Water Town: $239
  • 1 Day Tour Badaling Great Wall and Badaling Ski Resort: $249
  • 1 Day Tour Mutianyu Great Wall & Chunhuiyuan Hot Springs: $224
  • 1 Day Tour: Badaling Great Wall and Jiuhua Hot Spring: $167
  • 1 day Mutianyu Great Wall Nonshopping bus tour: $51
  • 1-Day Badaling Great Wall Helicopter Tour with Sacred Way & Bird's Nest: $714

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Saint Petersburg spend on average $9.88 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Beijing may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Saint Petersburg $9.88
    Beijing $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Beijing

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Beijing:

  • Evening Food Private Tour with Brewery Taproom Hopping at Slow Boat in Beijing: $138
  • 5-Hour Private Changyu Chateau Wine Tasting Tour from Beijing: $178
  • Private Wonderful Beijing Bar Crawl Tour: $195
  • Private Changyu Chateau Wine Tasting Tour and Mutianyu Great Wall Visit: $228


When comparing the travel costs between Saint Petersburg and Beijing, we can see that Beijing is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Even though Saint Petersburg is in Europe and Beijing is in Asia, both of these destinations have relatively similar prices of travel. Generally, the levels of luxury and expenses are the same for these cities even though they are geographically far apart.

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Saint Petersburg vs. Beijing Travel Comparison

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